Sick woman in hospital gown causes scare at jail annex

Woman told screeners she'd been to Africa before vomiting, passing out


SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County Jail annex building will undergo a thorough cleaning after a medical scare in the lobby Monday night.

A woman wearing a hospital gown walked into the lobby, vomited, then passed out after reportedly telling people she had recently been to Africa.

Michael Wiseman was waiting to visit his wife at the jail annex when he noticed the woman in the hospital gown in the lobby.

"She didn't have no shoes on, she had on some kind of mask and she had on some kind of hospital paper gown," Wiseman said. "She was in there and all of the sudden she gets to the counter, and she starts coughing, and tripping, and she fell on the floor and then they turn around and say, 'Everybody get outside.'"

Sheriff's spokesman James Keith said it appeared the woman had recently been treated at a nearby hospital.

"She had just gotten released and she decided to come into our facility. She was still in some hospital attire, she had on a mask, she mentioned to our security monitors that she had just been to Africa in the past couple of weeks. A short time later she got sick, vomited and passed out," Keith said. "Some people witnessed this woman getting sick and passing out, got scared, ran out of the facility, lots of people followed them running out scared not really sure what was taking place."

According to Keith, roughly two dozen people were in the lobby when the woman came in. They were evacuated and asked to provide contact information.

"We are going to have the facility cleaned," Keith said. "It's going to be a very large cleaning effort, the area that was effected is contained, so all staff, any visitors, no one is going to be allowed in that area until it's cleaned."

Officials believe the risk is low that anyone in the room at the time was exposed to any serious illnesses, but that didn't make Wiseman feel any better.

"I'm worried about my safety, man. But then at the same time, I'm worried about my wife too," Wiseman said.

Visitations were canceled for the night so the lobby could be cleaned, but it was expected the annex would return to normal operations by Tuesday.

The woman was transported back to a local hospital for treatment where she will be tested for any communicable diseases.

If she comes back positive with anything that could put those visitors at risk, they will be contacted and told what to do. But sources told KSAT 12 News it's more likely that the woman was suffering from a mental illness. Even so, jail officials were being very cautious and following their protocols.

About the Author: